RMG - Jan. 28, 2023: Centenary of the birth of the Servant of God Vera Grita

27 January 2023

(ANS - Rome) - Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023, marks the centenary of the birth of Vera Grita, born in Rome on Jan. 28, 1923, the second child of Amleto, a photographer by profession for generations, and Maria Anna Zacco della Pirrera, of noble origins. The close-knit family also included her older sister Giuseppa (called Pina) and younger sisters Liliana and Santa Rosa (called Rosa). On December 14 of the same year, Vera received Baptism in the parish of San Gioacchino in Prati, also in Rome.

That anniversary will be celebrated on Saturday, Jan. 28, with a Eucharist at 11 a.m. presided over by Bishop Vittorio Lupi, bishop emeritus of Savona-Noli, at the Church of Mary Help of Christians in Savona. In the afternoon at the seminary, there will be a lecture on "Saints in the Life of the Church" by Fr. Pierluigi Cameroni, Postulator General of the Causes of Saints of the Salesian Family, which will be followed by the presentation of some figures of sainthood related to the Ligurian Church.

In the Strenna for 2023, entitled "AS THE YEAST IN TODAY'S HUMAN FAMILY. The Lay Dimension of the Family of Don Bosco" this is how the Rector Major, Fr Ángel Fernández Artime, speaks of Vera Grita, lay, Salesian Cooperator: “Born in Rome on 28 January 1923, she lived and studied in Savona where she obtained her teacher’s certificate. At the age of 21, during a sudden air raid on the city (1944), she was overwhelmed and trampled underfoot by the fleeing crowd, with serious consequences for her physically, and from then on she remained forever marked by suffering. She went unnoticed in her short earthly life, teaching in the schools of the Ligurian hinterland, where she earned the esteem and affection of everyone for her kind and meek character. She attended Mass in Savona at the Salesian parish of Mary Help of Christians, and was regular in her use of the Sacrament of Penance. A Salesian Cooperator since 1967, she carried out her call in the total gift of herself to the Lord, who in an extraordinary way gave himself to her in the depths of her heart with the “Voice”, the “Word” with which he communicated the Work of the Living Tabernacles to her. Under the impulse of divine grace and accepting the mediation of her spiritual guides, Vera Grita responded to the gift of God by witnessing in her life, marked by the constant fatigue of illness, to the encounter with the Risen One and dedicating herself with heroic generosity to the teaching and education of her students, attending to the needs of her family and witnessing to a life of evangelical poverty. She died on 22 December 1969, at the age of 46, in a room in the hospital in Pietra Ligure.

Vera Grita attests first of all to an all-embracing Eucharistic orientation, which became explicit, especially in her final years of life. She did not think in terms of programmes, apostolic initiatives, projects: she accepted the fundamental "project" that is Jesus himself, until he made her life his own. Today's world attests to a great need for the Eucharist. Her journey through the strenuous labour of her days also offers a new lay perspective on holiness: becoming an example of conversion, acceptance, and sanctification for the "poor", the "frail" and the "sick" who can recognise themselves and find hope in her.

As Salesian Cooperator, Vera Grita lived and worked, taught and encountered people with her strong Salesian sensitivity: from the loving-kindness of her discreet but effective presence, to her ability to be loved by children and families; from the pedagogy of kindness that she carried out with her constant smile, to her generous readiness with which, regardless of the inconvenience, she turned in preference to the least, to the little ones, to the distant, the forgotten; from her generous passion for God and His Glory to the way of the cross, letting everything be taken from her in her illness.”

A video is available on ANSChannel to learn more about the figure of Servant of God Vera Grita.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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